This Week in Rockland: Newspaper Excerpts: Flashback Friday: Week of January 20

2023-01-20 TWIR Image-KKK

January 18, 1873 – 150 YEARS AGO
Rockland County Journal

      We regret to announce that Aaron Sares, of our village, while driving, on Saturday, near Mr. Brownell’s residence, was thrown from his sleigh, and broke his ankle in two places.
      A boy, named Felter, while coasting on DePew avenue, on Saturday, was struck by a passing sleigh and taken up for dead, but subsequently recovered and is now doing well.
      Last week Mrs. Edwin Ross was the recipient of a handsome Christmas gift in the shape of a beautiful chromo, from one of Bierstadt’s pictures. It was from her former associate teachers in Yonkers.

January 15, 1923100 YEARS AGO
Pearl River News

       The vicinity of Haverstraw has been the scene of some Klansmen’s work of late, and though they have not had visitations such as the burning of a cross in Pearl River streets, an even more open demonstration occurred wherein 49 members of the Klan attended the First M.E. church at Stony Point on Sunday night, January 6, and left a gift of money with a minister who welcomed them. Nothing out of the usual marked the service. We quote from the Rockland Messenger of Haverstraw as to the sequence of events:
       The congregation had assembled for the usual Sunday evening service. The pastor, Rev. Alan F. Bain, was about to announce the opening hymn when several automobiles drove up in front of the Church and the members of the Klan alighted and filed into the edifice. The congregation sat silent as the forty-nine members of the Klan, led by their officers, filed down the aisle and into the pews. Nine of the Klansmen were clad in full regalia while the others were unmasked and wore civilian clothes.
       The leader of the Klan proceeded to the pulpit, where he asked permission for the Klan to attend the services. Mr. Bain gave this permission, and the leader placed in his hands an envelope containing a sum of money. He then took his place with the other members.
       The service then proceeded. The hymns were sung, prayers were offered, and Mr. Bain preached the sermon, which he had prepared for the occasion. No particular mention was made of the visit of the Klansmen. At the conclusion of the services, the Klansmen filed out of the church and into waiting automobiles and departed as unostentatiously as they had come, leaving the congregation still in the church and discussing the appearance of the members of the hooded order.
       The Klansmen are said to have come across the mountains from the vicinity of Suffern at the request of some Stony Point members.
       The actual appearance of the Klan seems to give credence to the belief that some of the crosses recently burned in this vicinity were of actual Klan origin. The cross burned on the mountaintop on New Year’s Eve was of such a size that it seemed impossible for it to have been the work of a practical joker. It is believed by many people of Stony Point and Haverstraw that the appearance of the Klansmen at church services here was to convince the skeptics that the crosses burned recently have been the work of members of the Klan.
       It is a known fact that the Klan is well known in the western part of the county, but it was not believed that an organization had been started in the vicinity of Haverstraw. The visit of the Klansmen to Stony Point and the unverified report that their visit was made at the request of Stony Point members of the Order have caused much agitation among the people of the vicinity who are now speculating as to the possibility of a large organization here.
       It is reported that the Klansmen have previously visited churches at Tallmans [sic], Sloatsburgh, and other towns in the western part of Rockland County and the lower part of Orange. Ministers of the churches have in every case been presented with envelopes containing money to be used in any way they may desire.
       This occurrence again revives the question: Will the Klansmen visit Pearl River in this way? And if so, what reception would they have?
       Only nine of the forty-nine visitors were masked. Apparently, the Klan is growing in power and numbers in the western part of the state.
       We hear nothing of the K.K.K. hereabouts.

January 17, 1973 50 YEARS AGO
The Journal News

       A local anti-war group is sponsoring a blood-donor drive “in protest of the killing and destruction in Vietnam.”
       Beginning Thursday, both Nyack and Good Samaritan hospitals will be accepting blood donations “for peace,” according to Dr. Mark Masch and Alan Gussow, cochairmen of the Committee for Congressional Action to End the War.
       Along with the blood drive there will be a mass assembly Saturday at Memorial Park Drive. Spring Valley, at 1:30 p.m. to coincide with President Nixon’s inauguration. Bloodmobiles will be present for donations.
       Martin Kosofsky, a member of the committee, says this is a way the public can show its disenchantment with the Vietnam War and at the same time benefit the community.
       Kosofsky said he believed that by taking this action “Rockland County can once again show the nation that it is a community with heart
       “Just as we led the way in aid to Managua, we can lead the way to an end to the war. We can show the world that Americans are capable of giving blood for peace and not just shedding it,” he said. “Above all we must let our congressman (Rep. Benjamin Gilman of Middletown) know that he was elected as our representative and should not be used as a tool of the President.”

This Week in Rockland (#FBF Flashback Friday) is prepared by Clare Sheridan on behalf of the Historical Society of Rockland County. To learn about the HSRC’s mission, upcoming events or programs, visit or call (845) 634-9629.


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